Rajasthan is the Land of Royalty. Its imposing forts and grand palaces remind
one of the sophisticated lifestyles of the Maharajas. The southwestern pivot of
the triangle is Jaipur, gateway to the desert state of Rajasthan. Known as the
‘Pink City’ because of the distinctive color of its buildings painted in
preparation for the visit of Britain’s Prince of Wales in 1853, Jaipur is a town
of broad, open avenues and many palaces. The Amber Palace, just outside the city
is spectacular and the facade of the Palace of the Winds within the city walls
is an essential photo stop. Also worth seeing is Jai Singh’s City Palace and the
Jantar Mantar Observatory. To the southwest is the most romantic city in
Rajasthan, Udaipur, built around the lovely Lake Pichola and famed for its Lake
Palace Hotel, it has been dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’. To the north, in the
center of the Rajasthan desert, is Jodhpur, with its colorful, winding lanes and
towering fortress. Near Ajmer is the small lakeside town of Pushkar. It is a
site of religious importance for Hindus and it is here that every November the
fascinating Camel Fair is held. Jaisalmer is a charming oasis town, once a
resting place on the old caravan route to Persia. Among its attractions are the
camel treks out into the surrounding desert.
Widely known as the ‘Pink City ‘, Jaipur was color washed pink to
welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who
visited India in 1883 A.D. The city was founded in 1727 A.D by one
of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on
three sides, crowned by formidable forts and majestic palaces,
mansions and gardens. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is
sub-divided in to nine rectangular sectors symbolizing nine
divisions of universe. Jaipur is the first planned city designed in
accordance with ‘Shilpa Shastra’- epochal treatise of Hindu
Founded in 1100 AD by Aijpal Chauhan, Ajmer derives its name from `Ajaya
Meru' the invincible hill, at the foot of which the present city
stands. Ajmer owes its composite culture to the reign of many
dynasties that came, ruled and left, leaving behind indelible marks
of their culture and traditions. Ajmer is situated in a valley
surrounded by the Aravali hills, 131km west of Jaipur. ‘Dargah
Khwaja Sahib’ is one of the holiest Muslim shrines in the country.
The city has some splendid masterpieces of Indo-Islamic
On the banks of the shimmering lake Pichola, is one of the most
romantic cities of Rajasthan. Nestled among the lush hills of the
Aravallis, it has inevitably been dubbed the 'Venice of the East'.
It is a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens
and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carries the flavor of the
heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry.
The only hill station of Rajasthan, crowning at the highest peak of
the Aravali hills at altitude of 1220 meters. It is one of the
prettiest hill stations in the country. Mount Abu was dedicated to
Lord Shiva before it became a Jain Pilgrimage Centre. The biggest
draw for Mount Abu is the Dilwara Jain Temple for its carvings. The
hill boasts of a rich vegetation and thick forest. It stands out
like an oasis in arid environs.
Jaisalmer, the city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow
sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Rawla Jaisal, a Bhatti
Rajput King, founded the city in the year 1156 A.D.
This is 500-year-old town standing still in time. The rulers here built beautiful forts that echo of opulence and images of monsoon clouds in this dry land. The wealth of its architectural heritage lies in its forts, palaces and temples– magnificent creations in red and yellow sandstone, are living. Here is a temple where rats are held sacred. Today the city is known for flourishing industries of food, wool and camel breeding.
The genesis of Bikaner dates back to 1488A.D, when a Rathore prince,
Rao Bikaji, son of Rao Jodhaji of Jodhpur, chose a barren wilderness
called ’Jangladesh’ and transformed it to a charming city called ’Bikaner’,
after the founder’s name. Not only do the traditions come alive here
in colourful bazaars and Havelis, but Bikaner is also famous for the
best riding camels in the world.
Alwar is nestled between clusters of small hills of the Aravali
range. It is the gateway tone of the finest wildlife sanctuary –
Sariska that is an excellent home of tigers, birds and variety of
animals. Apart from its long history, the city has a rich heritage
with some beautiful lakes and picturesque valleys thickly wooded in
parts. The medieval fort crowning a scarped hill, over looks the
town below. Rao Pratap Singh founded Alwar in 1775 A.D.
Bharatpur, along with Deeg and Dholpur, holds an important place in
the history of Rajasthan. Visited mainly for Keoladeo Ghana National
Park, Bharatpur is a small town. Located near the world famous bird
sanctuary amidst 40 acres of landscape environs, the Laxmi Villas
Palace was built in 1899, for the younger brother of the Maharaja of
Bharatpur. The architecture is a blend of the Mughal and the
Rajputana styles. Today government offices and a museum occupy most
of the forts. The museum in the fort has some interesting
sculptures, collected from various ancient and early medieval sites
in nearby areas.
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